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Firm selected to alternative plant analysis


Coulee Dam has selected a Spokane firm to do its alternative analysis for the proposed wastewater treatment plant project.

Varela & Associates was selected out of nine firms that initially showed interest in the project. That number was narrowed down to six firms and then to three and later to two when one of the finalists opted out. Officials from Coulee Dam, Elmer City and the Colville Confederated Tribes were on the selection committee.

Currently Varela officials are determining the scope of work so they can come up with a cost of doing the alternative analysis.

The town earlier had the $4.92 million project ready to go until now Mayor Greg Wilder convinced the town that it should explore whether renovating the current wastewater treatment plant was the right decision. The town had failed to do an alternative analysis (a study to determine the best location for the project), putting funding in jeopardy.

Wilder said that Varela officials are completing the scope of work and that he expects it will come before the council in June.

While Elmer City participated in the selection of an engineering firm, that town is also going through a process to help it determine where to go with their wastewater. Currently Elmer City is in a 50-year agreement on the current treatment system in conjunction with Coulee Dam. That agreement has about 10 years remaining.

Elmer City is working with Indian Health Services and the Colville Tribes on a study to determine which direction it will take.

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